Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do Not Litter

When I was little, I was taught not to litter. And just like I can't go to bed without brushing my teeth, I can't throw an empty can on the street.

Do I ever think "Ah, but maybe just this once..."?

No. I tried, but it just doesn't work. I cannot.

Tarek, our friend Yazan and I went to Al-Kasaba movie theater in Ramallah the other day. It's the only movie theater in Ramallah, situated downtown. They show mostly Arabic movies without subtitles, which I guess would be annoying unless you're like me and you need to practice your Arabic.

I really do.

Anyway, we went and saw the new Egyptian movie Assal Eswed (Black Honey) with Ahmed Helmy.

There are two floors at Al-Kasaba. The top floor is beautiful and spacious with raw stone walls; the bottom floor is kind of cramped, the chairs are a little stained and broken and the walls are ugly. Assal Eswed was showing downstairs.

Was I bothered?

Not one bit, because before I knew it I was sucked into the beautiful, crowded, noisy life of Cairo, with the Nile, the pyramids, the people...

Oh. Sorry, this post wasn't supposed to be about how much I love Cairo. It was supposed to be about littering.

Yeah. So the main character, Masry, comes back to Cairo after having grown up in the States and notices that things are done a little bit differently in his home country. For instance, people litter.

His taxi driver (sorry, lemozeen driver) throws whatever trash he has out the window while driving down the street, and Masry goes "Shit! What are you doing?!"

Which is sort of how I feel here too. Because people litter. All over the Middle East (with the possible exception of Amman in Jordan, but I'm not sure if people actually don't litter or if the city just employs people to clean up the streets).

I fight with my boyfriend over it. And he goes, "What do you want me to do? It's not like there are trash cans around."

Which is true. So I end up keeping his litter in my purse until we come home.

Others don't. Which makes me sad, because all the trash on the streets, in the olive fields and among the bushes just gives the whole country an air of "Nobody cares about us, not even we do."

Which is sad.

Chewing Gum Wrap with Instructions

But chewing gum maker Orbit tries to turn things around by providing people with clear instructions of how not to litter. I know my scan isn't super clear, but see how they cover every situation?

I love it.

If you're in a car, you lean out the window and throw it into a trash can. See? If you're biking, you throw it while driving past a trash can. If you're alone, you walk up to a trash can and throw it. If you're with friends... oh, you thought you could get away with acting cool and spitting the gum out on the ground? Think again! You walk up to the trash can that's under the street lamp and throw it.

That's how you do it.

Or, in case of an acute lack of trash cans, you do it my way: keep it in your purse until you find a trash can. Or the Masry way: collect it all in a plastic bag and take it back to the hotel with you.

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Mirja said...

Im very upset ure blog does not have a "like" button... which makes me think FB is kinda good anyway....

more blog posts-- me like it!!

Ruby said...

Yes where would we be without good old Facebook? :) Did you know every 14th person in the world uses it? That's crazy. Anyway, thanks for liking my blog :D xox